Norm Duke and Liz Johnson are Hall of Fame caliber players near the top of their games as individual bowlers. At the National Bowling Stadium on Tuesday Duke and Johnson combined to form a solid doubles team qualifying as the No. 1 seeds for Sunday’s final round of the Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Championships on the 2008-09 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour.
“It was a very exciting event and a race for position all night,” Duke said. “It was hard to pull away but Liz and I came away with the top seed for the TV show.”
The finals will be taped for broadcast on Sunday Jan. 11 at approximately 1 p.m. PT at the National Bowling Stadium to air on ESPN Sunday Feb. 1 at 2:00 pm ET, marking the first time a PBA Tour Mixed Doubles event has ever been televised.
“You can’t ask for a better partner than Norm Duke,” Johnson said. “All night long I Just tried to give him a look. I feel very fortunate to be leading this great event with Norm.”
Duke and Johnson advanced to the top spot on the strength of a 12-4 record in match play to claim the top position for Sunday’s televised finals. Sean Rash and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard qualified in second position. In third position was the mixed doubles team of Steve Harman and Jennifer Petrick. The fourth-seeded Tom Hess and Laura Hardeman with fifth-seeded Brad Angelo and Shannon Pluhowsky round out the field.
Sixty-four players from the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour and 32 players from the PBA Women’s Series (16 PBA Women’s Series Exempt Players + 16 of the next highest qualifiers from the PBA Women’s Series Tour Trials) each bowled 14 qualifying games at the National Bowling Stadium. The top 16 from each group were combined to form 16 mixed doubles teams which advanced to match play.
After match play, the top five doubles finalists advanced to stepladder competition. No. 5 qualifiers Angelo/Pluhowsky will face No. 4 seeded Hess/Hardeman. The winners will face No. 3 team
Harman/ Petrick. The winner of that match will face No. 2 qualifiers Rash/Dorin-Ballard, with the winner of that match to face No. 1 seeded Duke/Johnson in the championship match.
Round of 16 - Position Round, Total Pinfall
1. Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, NY 7,073
2. Sean Rash, Wichita, Kan, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, N. Richland Hills, Tex. 7,013
3. Steve Harman, Indianapolis, Jennifer Petrick, Canton, Ohio 6,798
4. Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, Laura Hardeman, Chula Vista, Calif. 6,758
5. Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., Shannon Pluhowski, Phoenix 6,716
6. Ken Abner, Cincinnati, Missy Bellinder, Fullerton, Calif. 6,662
7. Robert Smith, Columbus, Clara Guerrero, Colombia 6,650
8. Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., Amy Stolz, Castle Rock, Co. 6,642
9. Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis, Shannon O’Keefe, Arlington, Tex. 6,603
10. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., April Ellis, Arlington, Tex. 6,582
11. Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., Shalin Zulkifli, Malaysia 6,568
12. Scott Newell, Deland, Fla, Tennelle Milligan, Costa Mesa, Calif. 6,534
13. Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, Lisa Bishop, Belleville, Mich. 6,443
14. Joe Bailey, Pittsburgh, Trisha Reid, Columbus 6,385
15. Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Joy Esterson, Annapolis, Md. 6,286
16. Chester Rogers Jr, Milwaukie, Ore, Anne Marie Duggan, Edmond, Okla. 6,252